Monday, February 28, 2011 | By: k8lin

What Your Doing

So I have been up to quite a bit lately but one of my favorite things has been my SPUK (Sports in the UK) class. We have done so many cool out of class things. We started off by doing a tour of Twickenham, the rugby stadium on the outskirts of London, that is home to the English Rugby Team. The tour was really cool, we got to go into all of the boxes and see where the queen sits and where the board members congregate. We also went into the locker room area, which was surprisingly sparse. I thought that is was going to be more decadent like an NBA or NFL locker room.
The next thing we did was a football weekend! We went to a Charlton Athletic match, they are a league 1 team. We had amazing front row seats, you could almost touch the players. Even though it was a lower level team the game was still really exciting. It was my first European Football match experience and I really enjoyed it. The spirit of the fans at the games are awesome. All of the anthems and chants they have really make the games was they are. Sometimes I wish Americans could get more into 'soccer.' We continued our football weekend with a QPR (Queens Park Rangers) match. This was the first of two times I have gone to a QPR match.
The first time we went we were sitting behind the goal, which kind of ruined the game only because we didn't have a clear view of the game. But the second game we were in clear view which made the game more enjoyable. QPR played terribly in the second game. Nottingham Forest, the opposing team was down one man the whole game because of a red card, and they still managed to end the game in a draw. Even the QPR loyal that were at the match were put out by the ranger's performance.
    My favorite part of the class so far has been our tour of the 2012 Olympic grounds. We got to see where the magic of the next Olympic games will take place. I was especially interested because I have intentions of coming back to London in the summer of 2012 to work for NBC sports as they cover the olympic games. The media building is massive, as it will house all of the stations from around the world. I also learned that NBC will be arriving on location in July of this summer to begin setting up for the olympics of next year!! They are definitely going to be prepared. I am super excited.
   Looking a little bit into the future, Bill, my SPUK professor is looking into getting us tickets to a premiership match, which hopefully will happen. We also are going to be seeing the historical annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge which takes place on the Thames. Well thats all for now on the subject of sports, but I will make sure to keep you updated!!!

Peace out!!

A Day In The Life

I have already been in London for an entire week, I can't believe it. This past week has been fairly intense. Myself and my five other roommates scoured the entire city to find a flat that suited our needs. We navigated the tube and walked all over town. 
Finally we found a flat that we were happy with. It is in Bayswater which is a really nice area in London, it also has a great commercial section so we can get a fair share of our shopping done easily. It is a three bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. Each of us shares a room with one other girl living in the apartment. I would have to say we have finally settled into the apartment and have began to make it more like a home. All the girls have been cooking meals, which look, smell and taste delicious. 
On another note I started my classes today, and I had Art In London, which so far is an amazing class. The majority of the class sessions will be taking place at various art exhibitions throughout the city. It is a great way for me to experience things in London that I might otherwise overlook. The class also allows the city of london to inspire creativity for papers and projects that are part of the course work. I am hoping that this weekend I will be able to spend more time seeing the local sights, hopefully taking loads of pictures in the process.

Tata for now!
Monday, January 10, 2011 | By: k8lin

She's Leaving Home

      So on Sunday, January 9th I left my house at approximately 5:00 am. My parents drove me to Newark airport, where at 8:00 am I boarded a Virgin Atlantic plane bound for London Heathrow airport. I was actually super nervous, I haven't been on a plane since I was 8 years old. So I didn't really remember it all that well. To add to that, I had never been out of the country to anywhere other than Canada before. .
    The whole process was really new to me. Although it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I was on the plane in no time. The flight took about 6.5 hours. The seating arrangement was not all that comfortable, but I was highly entertained by the movie selection. I watched both "Get Him to The Greek" and "Sex in the City 2." When I had finished those, I watched episodes of Glee and Modern Family.
      At 8:15 pm my plane touched down in London, England. The view of the city at night was gorgeous the lights seemed to glow and shimmer in gold. From my window I spotted the London Tower Bridge, Big Ben and The London Eye.Once in the airport I sat thru a lovely 45 minute line at the border control, then waited a half an hour for my luggage. My cousin Melissa and her husband Paul were waiting for me, and drove me back to their flat in Kensington.
     The trip although seemingly normal to both Melissa and Paul, was a first experience for me. First of all both the steering wheel and car were in opposite places. Driving on the left is so odd. At their flat I got to meet the extremely charming Zachary Penventon. He is so cute and fluffy!! Not quite like any other cat I have ever met. He is very friendly despite the grimace on his face. Zach strikes me as a cat version of my dog Annie. After meeting with Zach and chatting a bit, I went to bed.
     This morning Melissa and I went out to run some errands, in order to help me get situated. We went to the Whitelely's a shopping center where I looked at all different types of pay as you go phones Orange, Vodafone, O2 and T-mobile. Then we walked to the Underground station and the bank so I could think about what I wanted to do phone-wise. Went and got a temporary Oyster card until my student one came in, and went to the local HSBC so I could take out some UK currency (which by the way is also a bit odd).
    Then we went back to the shopping center where I made my decision to go with Orange who's plan offered 240 international minutes for thirty pounds, which will work well with me calling my parents and all. After I bought my mobile (not cell) phone Melissa and I grabbed a bite to eat at a Mexican eatery that she often eats at.
   Well that has been my day so far! I cannot wait for my friends to arrive tomorrow morning. I have orientation with them at 10:30 am.


Saturday, December 11, 2010 | By: k8lin

Fistful of Mercy

Okay so clearly I was so caught up in the excitement of Thanksgiving break a few weeks ago that I completely for got to post about this amazing experience I had in Philadelphia. My parents and I drove down to Philly the day after I got home for break, to go see Fistful of Mercy perform live at Temple University.

For those of you who are not familiar with the group,
 Fistful of Mercy is a musical group consisting of Dhani Harrison, Joseph Arthur and Ben Harper. They are a newly formed group who has just released their new album "As I Call You Down," and are currently on their first tour. These three musicians who I admire so much have created this super group, with it's own unique sound.

The concert in Philly was very intimate, with about 200 people there. Alain Johannes, a phenomenal up and coming guitarist was the opening act. When Fistful came on stage they opened up with the song,  The band played every song off of their new album as well as some of their individual works.

However, my favorite part of the concert was the very last song when the band performed, "With Whom You Belong," which is a song about finding friends and love and holding on to it and keeping it close once you find it. It is a very inspirational song with a very deep meaning. When performing the song, they asked the audience to join in and eventually the whole audience was singing along. It was this great moment where the audience became one community of people. I created this great feeling in the entire room. It was amazing.

After the concert was finished I was fortunate enough to meet the band and have them sign my poster. They are such warm and loving people and are so grateful to all of their fans. For me, meeting Dhani Harrison almost made me cry, because as most of you may know his father, George Harrison, is not only my favorite Beatle, but my all time favorite musician. The night was one that I will never forget.

"Father's Son" and original song by : Fistful of Mercy 

Tata for now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010 | By: k8lin

With Love, From Me to You

Okay everyone. So in order to collect memories of my study abroad experience (in a fairly inexpensive way) I have decided to use postcards. I am going to collect postcards for myself as well as send one to my parents from every place I go.

I am also going to start what I like to call Project Postcard, where I will be sending postcards back to friends and loved ones that live in the states. These postcards will be from their location of choice, that I will be visiting of course.  I am also hoping that my friends and loved ones will be sending me postcards in return. Remember people, I will be in Europe for 5 whole months, so don't be a stranger keep in touch! So starting now I will be collecting requests for locations that people would like me to send them a postcard from.

 Locations I hope to visit: Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands,  Scotland and Spain. (Hopefully I will be visiting more than this, but we shall see.)  

 So take your pick and make sure to leave a comment on this post! If you can't just make sure to tweet or facebook me, the links are over on the right hand side of the page in the follow me section. So once you think of your favorite location.. please let me know!